What is An Impact Drill?

You’ve finally saved up enough money to buy a brand new cordless drill! You head on over to the Home Depot and look at their drill selection. Of course, at the forefront of their display is this beauty called an impact drill. It looks cool and feels great in your hand, but what is an impact drill? I’m glad you asked!

Impact Drill by Definition

An impact drill is the go-to power tool when driving fasteners – especially long ones. It does this faster and with less effort than a typical drill by automatically applying rotational and downward force when it encounters resistance.  This saves your hand, wrist, and arm from needless strain when screwing down that subfloor.

My favorite part is the sound you hear when the “impact” part of the drill kicks in. It just sounds powerful. You will know the impact drill is working because it will begin to make repeated popping noises as you drive the screw in farther.

Don’t Throw Your Standard Drill Away Just Yet!

While these drills are the best option when it comes to fastening fasteners (say that ten times in a row), you still need to hold on to your standard drill. Impact drills only accept bits with a hex base. This means that if you need to use a drill bit to predrill a hole or an auger bit or a spade bit then you’ll need your regular drill. You can use this paragraph to convince your significant other that you really do need the impact drill AND the regular drill for Christmas!

The Benefits and Why You Need One

I have done my share of metal roofs in the past. Let me just say that impacts are a life saver! They make the job of screwing a metal roof down way faster and easier than a standard drill. In fact, we had a few times when our impacts had either run out of juice or had bit the dust and I was left with just a standard drill. This resulted in it taking me about twice as long to get a screw to penetrate the metal! That doesn’t count the extra amount of pressure you have to apply with a standard drill to see results! My arms (which never got real big) were killing me by the end of it.

Need more reasons? Here are list of benefits that I could think of for using an impact drill:

  1. They are lightweight – these drills are easy to handle and typically weigh a lot less than an average drill.
  2. They have some torque power – these little babies know how to drive a screw home.
  3. Quick bit exchange – switching from a Phillips to a Star bit is effortless with the quick release system
  4. Less strain – this won’t wear out your wrist or arm nearly as quickly as a standard drill

Some of Our Favorite Brands

We are a construction company, so obviously we have our preferences on the type of impact drills we like. But we will be the first to admit that just because we like a certain brand doesn’t mean it is the only brand to use.

In fact the reason I’m listing four brands is because our crews tend to rotate through them, sometime siding with one brand then a year later saying another brand is best.

Overall, the four brands we use are Dewalt, Hilti, Bosch, or Makita. You should be in good shape if you stick to one of those.

Further Questions

If you have any further questions about impact drills or any other power tools, just leave a comment! We’d love to hear from you!

Ethan McNeil

Ethan McNeil has worked in the office of T&H Keith Inc since 2008. He currently takes care of all things office, from estimating to scheduling to accounting. He also has his realtor license and helps individuals sell and buy their homes.

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